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2° Below Winter Ale - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
2° Below Winter Ale2° Below Winter Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

1,152 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,152
Reviews: 568
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 12.64%
Wants: 24
Gots: 80 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  6.60% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-23-2005

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,152 | Reviews: 568 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jdthomps
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%

Photo of cphughes
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%

Photo of Huffaroma
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%

Photo of grahamboudreaux
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%

Photo of bill_rue
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%

Photo of NatetheGreat
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, this was an awesome brew! I anticipated a good beer, but not one of the best beers I've ever had. I don't mean to sound over-enthusiastic, but this was exceptional from top to bottom (literally!).

A: big head with lots of bubbles, light amber colored beer; very appealing.

S: the nose begins with a burst of vibrant citrus fruit, sweet and sharp, and finishes with crisp pine. enticing aroma.

T: smooth and mellow; perhaps a tad sweet. certainly tamer than the aroma. some toasted grain and caramel sweetness. didn't wow me but was very good.

M: incredibly smooth and balanced; not watery but also not too syrupy or thick.

D: with this great brew, highly drinkable and just a wonderfully pleasant surprise. one of the best winter ales I've had.

Drink this beer.

Photo of Meibs
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%

Photo of dataskatt
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a mug. A beautiful medium amber color with a generous head. Lots of lacing. Smell is hoppy with a nice spicy undertone. Smells a bit like cloves. I could smell this all day! Taste is also really good. Hoppy, but balanced, and with a nice warm spicy finish. Reminds me a little of Great Lakes Burning River pale ale, except this has way more spice in the taste. Interesting brew, and very drinkable. Mouthfeel is just right...not to light, not too heavy. Even with a little higher alcohol content, I could easily have several of these. Nice winter brew. I would definitely recommend!

Photo of dhbiker0889
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%

Photo of LouieBreschi
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%

Photo of JohnnyMc
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%

Photo of BJasny
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%

Photo of KoG
4.48/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Saw this when I was at lunch and decided to try it.

Nice clear amber color with a frothy white head that laces the entire glass like it was frosted.

Smell is nice citric hops with a light malt undertone. Hints of biscuit are present.

Taste is very good. Nice and hoppy but not overpowering, finishes a bit sweet with a "Fat Tire"-ish hint that is kept in check by nice citric hop bite.

Extremely smooth and super drinkable.

Photo of Jerad_Morrissey
4.46/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

One of my favorite seasonals.

Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.45/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Huge fluffy beige head on top of a transparent amber brew. Leaves the most lacing I've seen on a glass in a long time.

S- Smells like spicy American hops on top of rich chocolatey malts

T- The hops dominate the taste of this brew. Clearly dry hopped, the beer has a distinct piney flavor

M- A bit slick, but overall good feeling with balanced carbonation

D- Drinks great for me, but hops might be a bit much for some folks.

Photo of 1fastz28
4.45/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a really great looking reddish amber color with a big white head on it. has a wonderful mixture of hops and biscuity maltiness to it, really looks and smells great. taste is just as impressive, the hops and malt conteract eachother wonderfully. has a rich full flavor to it, just awesome all around. mouthfeel and drinkability are great too

Photo of nicnut45
4.44/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Beer poured a beautifully clear medium copper color with two fingers worth of head that fades into a thick silky head with heavy and light patches of foam on top.

Smell - This is possibly one of my most favorite smelling beers. The hops smell FRESH. Resiny, sticky sweetness. Almost reminds me of steaks and fresh cut grass at the same time. I dont think my limited grammer can do this beer justice to its smell. Its awesome.

Taste - Hops are prevalent at the first taste but I notice as the beer warms up you notice more of the malt. Lemony, spicy hops with a bit of that fresh cut grass taste you get from the smell. Nutty toasted malt taste a lot like fat tire with more hops. I will say this too, I have had the most pleasing almost exotic like belches from this beer. Give it a shot you'll see what I mean.

Mouthfeel - This beer feels a little above average on mouthfeel. Its not really heavy like Tripel and nowhere near a light...falls in between. I would say maybe a bit heavy for the style but not bad at all.

Drinkability - I could drink these all night. I would buy it again. Not really a session beer though. Pretty high alcohol content for an E.S.B. All in all I was not too impressed with fat tire or New Belgium brewing after all the craze, but this beer changed my mind.

Photo of secondtooth
4.42/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Transparent golden-red appearance, with big bubbles and yellow lace.
Aroma is bold, with accents of floral, fruits, and bread. Appealing!
Flavor is complex and original -- a balanced mix of snappy hops and a wonderful sweet malt character that conjures fresh berries somehow.
A great mix that amply combines the best attributes of a pale ale with a Belgian seasonal. Lovely and delicious!

Photo of Tolnik
4.42/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured with a good finger width head reducing down to a light lacing of foam. Good deep amber. Great smelling hops beer and barley odor. The beer tastes of fresh hops with hints of rye. This is a great seasonal beer that New Belguim pumps out each and every year that I cannot wait till it comes out.

Photo of MEVorp
4.4/5  rDev +20.9%

Photo of MrHungryMonkey
4.4/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served nice and cold, per written instruction. It warmed to 55° area by end of glass.

Nice amber color, clear and crisp. The head is as large, or larger, than the liquid. Nice head retention and lacing. Moderate carbonation.

Smells quite hoppy, floral and grapefruit-like. Malt body, highly overshadowed by hops.

Nice blend of flavors. Light malt base superimposed with mellow hop flavors, floral mainly. Roasted malt undertones. Not overly sweet. The malt doesn’t seem to contribute much to the flavor, but is nonetheless an integral part of the experience. Light touch of alcohol hiding in the back.

Smooth with mild oral foamation and almost no carbo-sting.

Drinking 2° Below is like drinking the nectar of some plant, some wonderful tasty plant. The flavors complement each other almost perfectly. Extremely refreshing. This is a jewel of a beer. I could drink it all day. Well done New Belgium.

Photo of baos
4.38/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From Notes:

Friend walks in with a growler of this fresh from the Mountains. I jumps up and downs und serve it in my 2 pinter that looketh like the one pinter. Beer has traveled 15 hours and 3 finger head with a shit ton of lacing that lasts the whole day through. I mean the whole glass through. Nice copper body with perfect clarity. Sterling and Liberty hops with nice roasted malty warmth fill the nostril-domis. I predict this motherfucker is gonna taste yummier than chuck. It does, the hops and malts are balanced pretty near perfectly. Enough dry hopping that brings the horse-hoofed malt taste away and finishes with a super nice bright and dry Christmas green hop gremlin. Mouthfeel is light and very nicely carbonated, again balancing the malt hop bitterness. A great present from a special fwend!

Photo of Fatduck
4.35/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a crisp copper color, not exactly what I was expecting. Fluffy white head that lasts. It smells almost like a crisp winter morning with a fresh layer of snow. Reminds me of outdoor hockey games. Tastes like a wonderful simple bitter with a well balanced flavor. Im not really sure why its a winter beer, but its good.

Photo of industrialswill
4.35/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

OH BOY THIS IS GOOD!!!

Bright golden amber, frothy head.
The smell warned me of the possibility of clove ahead, but overall it has a nice smell to it.
The first thing that hit me at first gulp was the maltyness...almost to the point of tasting like chocolate. Thankfully, there is no flavor of clove. I'm totally in love with this beer and am very glad to add it to my list of daily options

Photo of diabecktic
4.33/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance:
This light copper brew pours with a very nice creamy, white head that's ~2 fingers thick. Retention and lacing are both excellent, and I can see a little bit of carbonation slowly rise throughout the translucent body.

Smell:
The aroma is largely hoppy and spicy with a nice sweet base that helps add balance. As far as specific notes go, I can pick out cloves, caramel, dark fruit (perhaps raisin or plum), toffee, and nutmeg.

Taste:
Crisp hops are apparent in the early portion of the tasting. As the beer sits in my mouth, the dark, roasted malty sweetness progressively intensifies. The aftertaste resembles something like clove and toffee. The balance between each flavor is excellent.

Mouthfeel:
The crispness experienced during tasting eventually leads to a dry sensation. Alcohol is fairly well-hidden during the smell and taste portions of the test, but I think its lingering effect is likely responsible for the aforementioned sensation. The elements which are responsible for the dark sweetness likely account for the moderately heavy body.

Drinkability:
Excellent balance, body, and taste all make this an extremely drinkable beer. I never would have guessed that this beer was 6.6% ABV, so you might have to be careful if you feel like drinking several of these during a setting. For all of its complexity, the beer isn't dense enough to hurt this aspect of the tasting.

Summary:
I liked the New Belgium beers that I had tried in the past, so I expected this beer to be good; however, it was MUCH better than I could have ever fathomed. The complex flavors, excellent balance, and adequate body make this an outstanding beer to enjoy during the coldest months of the year. As the style suggests, this beer is both "extra special" and "bitter" - I urge you to try this if you haven't done so already.

2° Below Winter Ale from New Belgium Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 1,152 ratings.